Young racer enjoys support for ride to top
By Ed O’Leary
Posted 1 day ago
Brantford’s Cole Campbell will make his third start as a professional motocross racer at Walton, Ont., on the weekend.
The weekend of racing is part of the Ontario motocross circuit.
“I’ve worked pretty hard to get to the top (the pro class),” the 19-year-old graduate of Brantford Collegiate Institute said from an office at the family business, Campbell Auto and Tire on Cockshutt Road.
“It’s been a long six years and I’ve spent a lot of my parents’ money.”
Campbell also is looking forward to making his debut on the Canadian circuit July 17 at Delhi’s Gopher Dunes. The Canadian circuit will offer races this summer in St. Julie, Que., Moncton, N.B., Ottawa and Walton.
“The biggest thing this year is that I have a lot of support from family and friends,” Campbell said.
“They all want me to get to the top. My goal is to finish top 10 in the nationals.”
At 13, Campbell was riding snowmobiles and dirt bikes on family-owned farms when a neighbour asked him if he wanted to go to a motocross race.
“He took me to a track and I’ve been addicted ever since.”
Campbell, like all riders, started in the beginner class and advanced to the junior division, finishing second in points three years ago.
He then jumped into the intermediate division, finishing second in points last year to Nicky Beatty of Sarnia, a placing that pushed him into the pro ranks.
Campbell’s pro career started with two races on the provincial circuit. He experienced disappointment in his first race in Delhi, failing to finish the race because of mechanical failure. However, Campbell scored a solid fourth-place finish in his second start in Owen Sound.
Campbell has sought help from top teachers to improve his riding skills.
Campbell is going to leave June 21 to go to Nashville, Tenn., for a four-week training and riding camp.
“It’s hot and humid there. It’ll get me in really good shape for nationals.”
In 2009, he spent four months in South Carolina training with multi-national champion Billy Lyles. “He taught me body position, mind-set and a lot of secret stuff that nobody else knows,” Campbell said.
He has also attended a one-week private training school operated by Ohio-based trainer Gary Semics.
“There are so many different ways of looking at stuff,” Campbell said. “The more you absorb, the more you can find out, the better off you are.”
Campbell has 13 sponsors, of which the main ones are Kawasaki and Sturgess Cycle in Hamilton.